imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Tell the NSA: StopWatching.US

Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - json version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles
link:

Author/artist/scientist Laura Cunningham on "Forgotten Landscapes of California"

by R. Plesset Saturday, Mar. 26, 2011 at 7:01 PM

For her book, Cunningham spent over 20 years illustrating how California might have looked before the arrival of Europeans. Her artwork often goes back centuries and even millennia (and on a few occasions all the way to the ice age).

Author/artist/scient...
stateofchangecunningham3.jpg, image/jpeg, 2134x2688

In recent weeks Laura Cunningham, author and illustrator of A State of Change: Forgotten Landscapes of California, has been speaking in Southern California. This is a report on her appearance at Environment Now in Santa Monica (February 23).

For her book, Cunningham spent over 20 years illustrating how California might have looked before the arrival of Europeans. Her artwork often goes back centuries and even millennia (and on a few occasions all the way to the ice age*). Cunningham is also a paleontologist and naturalist. In addition to oil paintings, "State of Change" is full of notes, diagrams, and sketches explaining Cunningham's research.

Her interest and curiosity about pre-European California goes back to her early childhood. Living in the East Bay, she wondered what her neighborhood was like centuries earlier. Once Cunningham became a scientist and self-taught painter she was able to take her curiosity to whole new levels.

While researching the book, she studied protected areas but said she also learned from observing abandoned lots and their native grasses. Nineteenth-century art was another source of reference, as was accounts by early Euro-Americans. (One person, Spencer F. Baird, who hunted animals and sent the carcasses to the Smithsonian circa the mid 1800s, reported seeing a dead parrot in a hawk's nest. This account became the basis for a Cunningham painting—a flock of thick-billed parrots flying over an undeveloped, uncorrupted California landscape (the Tehachapi Mountains)-- which she admits is highly speculative. As she noted, how parrots could have gotten into California in the mid-1800s is a mystery. )

In depicting bears (there is a striking painting in her book of a grizzly overlooking the San Fernando Valley), rather than studying out-of-shape ones in zoos, she visited Yellow Stone National Park. She went to other locales as well since other animals, such as wolves, have become very rare in California or completely absent.

Cunningham also consulted indigenous elders and sometimes learned things contrary to what anthropologists and other scientists had stated. She seems to agree with M. Kat Anderson, author of Tending the Wild, about the critical role Native Americans could have in restoring ecosystems. One problem, though, is that indigenous people tend to be more long-term in their approaches, whereas the Federal Government tends to think in terms of months rather than centuries. Nevertheless, she is aware of cases where the government was swayed toward the long-term. This gives her hope for the future.

She also believes individuals can help in restoration and conservation by learning about the particular habitat they live in as well as its long-term history and act accordingly.

Her initial manuscript for "A State of Change" was quite long (she gestured about six inches with her fingers), but the publisher said the book needed to be shorter. Thus, she had to omit much of her work concerning deserts. (She herself lives in the Mojave Desert.) It is her hope that there will be a second volume of this book.

The publisher also wanted to truncate her studies of native grasses, but Cunningham, recognizing widespread interest in his area, strongly advocated leaving it intact. Fortunately, she prevailed.

During a q&a that followed her slide show, there was much talk of solar farms in deserts and their enormous potential to harm ecosystems. It was suggested that she might illustrate such areas--but project into the future rather than the past—to demonstrate this threat. Cunningham has already lobbied in Washington, D.C. for smarter implementation of solar power.

Also, during the discussion, the author/artist/scientist emphasized the significance of landscape renderings and studies by contemporary artists. In the future, this art might help people understand nature in our time. Such art may someday even adorn museums, she suggested.

Cunningham mentioned the possibility of a traveling exhibit of her art, noting that her paintings could fill up quite a bit of space.

Her upcoming appearances can be found here: http://www.a-state-of-change.com/Classes.html and here: http://www.heydaybooks.com/.




-----

*She is currently doing additional illustrations of California in the ice age.
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


The San Fernando Valley before

by R. Plesset Saturday, Mar. 26, 2011 at 7:01 PM

The San Fernando Val...
stateofchangesan-fernando-valley-griz-lo.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x297

The San Fernando Valley, not too long ago with a grizzly bear not very far up in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.

(Another local scene by Cunningham (not pictured here) is of an area of San Bernardino with 15-foot-tall sun flowers. These plants were thought to be extinct since 1937, but recently some were found near LA. In State of Change, this awe-inspiring paining is juxtaposed with a freeway on-ramp in San Bernardino.)

This artwork is copyright 2010 by Laura Cunningham and has been used with permission.
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


The San Fernando Valley today

by R. Plesset Saturday, Mar. 26, 2011 at 7:01 PM

The San Fernando Val...
stateofchangetoday-san-fernando.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x212

This artwork is copyright 2010 by Laura Cunningham and has been used with permission.
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Local News

LA Fields Two Marches Against Police Executions Photoset 2 of 2 A21 9:09PM

LA Fields Two Marches Against Police Executions Photoset 1of 2 A21 7:01PM

Running Down the Walls 2014 A20 8:48PM

Weaving the Past: Journey of Discovery Extends Exclusive Engagement A19 3:37PM

Los Angeles Declares “Hands Up!” in Peaceful Protest of LAPD Murder of Ezell Ford A18 4:09AM

Ezell Ford and Ferguson Solidarity A17 6:35PM

Family and Supporters of #Justice4Fords Protest LAPD Execution of Ezell Ford in South L.A. A17 2:49PM

Southern California Swarms to Save the Bees in Solidarity with Honey Bee Day Around the Gl A17 5:30AM

L.A Supports August 2nd International Gaza Protest Photoset 4 A05 7:03PM

L.A Supports August 2nd International Gaza Protest Photoset 3 A05 6:45PM

More about KPFK via Pacifica turmoils A05 6:29PM

L.A Supports August 2nd International Gaza Protest Photoset 2 A05 6:23PM

L.A Supports August 2nd International Gaza Protest Photoset 1 A05 11:36AM

Demonstration in Support of Persecuted Christians Saturday A02 10:40AM

Water in California - info proliferated now is dubious J28 5:04PM

Pacifica clearly endangered. Reposting info here: J28 2:34PM

Video: Occupy Love (2013), 1 hr 19 min J28 4:43AM

Who declares themselves to be the ultimate-only-valid-authority here on current wars elsew J27 11:11AM

MDRC's Rent Reform Assault: Section 8 tenants vs. affordable housing industry J24 12:24AM

Obama at LA Trade Tech J23 3:23PM

Los Angeles Joins World Wide Protest Against Israeli Aggression J22 6:33PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

How Lou Gehrig And Mao Tse Tung Got Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS) A22 1:06PM

Russian Humanitarian Aid Reaches Lugansk A22 12:39PM

Who Cares? A Feminist Critique of the Care Economy A22 6:13AM

Pro-Israeli Security Council Gaza Resolution A22 4:27AM

World Humanitarian Day Hypocrisy A22 3:17AM

The Shortwave Report 08/22/14 Listen Globally! A21 3:53PM

Ebola Depopulation Scam: Liberian Poor Held At Gunpoint In Quarantine Concentration Camps A21 9:20AM

Western Leaders Support Israeli Genocide A21 6:55AM

Israel's Genocidal War Continues A21 1:09AM

Paraphysique de la collaboration A20 10:55PM

Kiev's Dirty War A20 12:09PM

Clinton, Obama and the New Era of American Empire A20 11:12AM

Failure in Cairo A20 3:02AM

Thinkers replaced by Social Controllers on massive scale. A19 6:11AM

Gaza Ceasefire Extended A19 6:05AM

8 Things to Know About the Iraq Crisis A19 4:58AM

Huge Rescue Mission Launched in Peru to Save Suffering Circus Animals A18 3:47PM

III ANARCHIST AND PUNK FILM FESTIVAL - SÃO PAULO – BRASIL A18 1:47PM

Russia: Waging Peace in Ukraine A18 10:41AM

Promoting Confrontation with Russia A18 4:56AM

Anti-Democratic Straitjackets A18 4:23AM

Militarization of our police A17 11:47AM

Kiev's War Without Mercy Continues A17 11:36AM

The risse of political extremism A17 11:21AM

Block the Boat for gaza A17 10:37AM

Netanyahu: Israel's Pinochet A17 6:10AM

As Quartermaster Memory Returns, Nuclear Disaster Directly off So Cal Coast 1983 A16 3:42PM

The New York Times War on Truth A16 5:53AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy